Ballyfin: Portrait of an Irish Country House

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This documentary tells the story of the history of Ballyfin, how it played an important role in the political, artistic and social life of nineteenth century Ireland, and how it was abandoned by its Anglo-Irish owners at the beginning of the twentieth century. After the civil war, it was bought by the Patrician Brothers and used as a boarding school but eventually the upkeep became too much and the house was sold, in a desperate and dilapidated state, to an American industrialist. The new owner agreed that the school could remain open for a further five years (so that the youngest pupils could complete their education) while the renovation began. Renovation is an inadequate word to describe what became the most extensive and remarkable restoration of any building in the country, resulting in its resurrection as one of the finest country houses in Ireland and its transformation into an extraordinary hotel.

1 x 60'

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An In-Production production for RTÉ


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